"Italian Tune-up"
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    Melbourne, Northern Suburbs

    Default "Italian Tune-up"

    Zaphod and I went for a pleasant drive today from Melbourne to Ballarat and back.

    Before leaving I filled the tank and, in line with my rather obsessive habits of late, I checked the economy, which worked out to just over 25 miles per gallon in the old money.

    Now Zaphod has been pretty rock solid on 28 mpg (10 km/litre or 10 litres per 100 km, whichever you use) for some time, with only the occasional glitch downwards.

    So, wondering what was next on the list of things to try to restore his 260,000km old engine to a better health, I embarked on the trip.

    Having spent the day cruising comfortably at a legal 110kmh, meeting and lunching with a Mate and playing with his C5 as well as retrieving some 2CV bits from The Stash, I returned to the servo from whence I'd departed this morning and filled up again.

    Bugger me, would you believe 35.8 mpg for the day? 22.99 litres for 290km (work it out for yourself)

    In addition, for some time I've been monitoring the oxy sensor with an expanded scale voltmeter, an LM3914 with red/yellow/green LEDs which light at the voltages above and below a nominal 0.5 volt. (Jaycar kit).

    Of late they've been flickering back and forth a hell of a lot, leading me to begin to suspect the oxy sensor as being a bit flaky. Imagine my surprise on pulling up at some lights and realising the thing was almost solid on the yellow LED with gradual excursions up and down to red (rich) and green(lean) as one accelerated or trailed the throttle.

    So I wonder if the prolonged hot run has actually burnt some crap out of the oxy sensor and restored it to sort of health? Anyone got any other theories? Anyone experienced this before.


    Certainly I've always been a fan of the Italian tune-up, go for a fang and the car will thank you, usually sounding like Mario when it does . My mother-in-law's Corolla used to get bound up by tootling around in the low gears and never having a bootful, so I would regularly "tune it up " for her, a service she always appreciated and found amusing at the same time. (She only ever came with me the once, preferring not to know what I did to her car!)

    So I reckon I'll count this as a win.

    Keen to hear your thoughts Brains Trust.

    Cheers, Pottsy
    Buvito Ergo Sum!

    The Fleet:

    2018 C3 Shine ("Oscar" Mrs P's) Grandma's Taxi
    1974 D Special Manual Sedan ("Moby Dick") Weekend Warrior
    2006 C5 HDI Wagon Auto ("Mephistopheles") Workhorse
    1982 2CV6 ("Gaston") Seasoned Traveller
    1975 GS Pallas ("GiSelle") Shrunken CX
    And for Fun, 1968 Mini Deluxe ("The R & D'luxe" 1078cc, Grin Factor 100!)

  2. #2
    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    I once gave a friend's GS wagon an Italian tune-up in New Zealand. She was a music lecturer and it only even tootled around the suburbs. After an hour or two at 5000 RPM (about 130 km/h) I gave it back to her. She told me later she could not believe how well it ran.


  3. #3
    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010


    This was the traditional method for Jaguars in London. Send the apprentice for a blast up the M1, though possibly it was not fully itemised on the service invoice.

    Potsy, I would think that your great improvement in mileage is largely due to a good run. It probably cleaned out the catalytic converter too. It will be interesting to see the improvement in your next "urban" mileage tank too.
    Member, Citroen Car Club NSW

    DS23 Pallas 5 sp. "Francoise" , BX19TRi Auto "Jacques Dutronc" , Teardrop Trailer "The Toad", BMW R65 "Rosamund"
    In the past: Renault 750, Dauphine, R4, R8, R10, Peugeot 504 Familiale, ID 19 (x2), Safari (x2)

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